Hairball Audio

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

Post Reply
User avatar
Wagz
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 186
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:44 am
Location: Kalispell, MT
Contact:

Hairball Audio

Post by Wagz » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:35 pm

Hey, so i've been reading up a bit on electronics and would love to start working on building some DIY pre's, understanding the technology a bit more. Been looking at maybe grabbing a couple of those Hairball audio pre's to start and assembling them.

Anyone have any thoughts on Hairball's stuff? are the pre's worth keeping after they're built?

~J
Snoring Hound Studio
Kalisepll, MT

User avatar
digitaldrummer
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2111
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: Austin, Texas
Contact:

Post by digitaldrummer » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:48 pm

I built one of the HB76 compressors (the rackmount 1176). there was some stuff that was a little ambiguous but I ended up getting signal on the first try (whew!). If I recall, you need a signal generator and at least a DVM to calibrate it. but there are a few videos to help. and its a keeper.

Mike

User avatar
Wagz
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 186
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:44 am
Location: Kalispell, MT
Contact:

Post by Wagz » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:14 pm

Yeah, I was going to start off with something simpler, like maybe one of their 500 series pre's or something like that.

But thanks for the feedback.
Snoring Hound Studio
Kalisepll, MT

The Scum
resurrected
Posts: 2427
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:26 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Contact:

Post by The Scum » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:11 pm

I just looked things over - I don't see anything immediately offputting.

They're using quality components, the assembly guides look pretty good. It took some hunting to track down schematics, but I found them and don't see anything immediately offputting. I could build one in an afternoon.

It looks like Lola has some interesting features, and the elements appear to the the follow-on to the ol' Eisen preamp kits. I've got 4 Eisens that are workhorses. The architecture of the elements pre looks a bit like the tonelux pre, with the discrete follower after the output level control.

I would love to see them publish a "theory of operations" to accompany - not just how to build it, but why some of the things were done the way they are. It looks like there's an interesting circuit in the DI on the Lola.


I will warn you that if you don't already have them, you're going to need decent tools to do a good job. Soldering setup, DMM, test generator, possibly an oscilloscope. If you're purely looking at this as a way to get into good preamps for less cash, the savings aren't always immediate.
"What fer?"
"Cat fur, to make kitten britches."

User avatar
Wagz
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 186
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:44 am
Location: Kalispell, MT
Contact:

Post by Wagz » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:11 pm

Have a couple soldering irons lying around at the studio, would need to get a better one.. these ones are old and only really use them on cables. Think the wattage is too high if I remember right.
But yea, aside from a multimeter I'll need to get some stuff.

Mainly looking into it because I am becoming more and more fascinated with the component end of gear.
I love how different my tube pre's are from my Transformer based pre's. I like the clarity of my 'clean' pre's and the driving tone of the others.

Would love to start learning gain structure and things a bit more. Got a soundcraft ghost I bought a couple weeks ago and am cleaning all the channels out and moving them around.. I find it fascinating but know so very little so far. Read through an electronics book a few months ago and probably forgot most of it already. I need to get my hands dirty along with the research in order for me to retain stuff.

looking at the 500 series stuff because I don't have to worry about building a power supply. Plus if I build it and i don't like the pre, if it works I can always just ebay it, make my money back on it and try a different one.

Of course if I like it I'll just keep it.

This probably won't be for a few months. still recouping from some recent purchases.
Snoring Hound Studio
Kalisepll, MT

sound for sandwiches
gimme a little kick & snare
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 12:35 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Post by sound for sandwiches » Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:06 pm

I just sprang for a Hairball "copper" kit. this will be my first 500 series module and my first "british console style" pre. (they say it is not supposed to be a 1073 clone, merely inspired by that sound.) I've done a fair bit of building and modding and have the right tools so I don't expect to have any trouble, but you never know. I'll let you know what I think once I have the kit together.

David

sound for sandwiches
gimme a little kick & snare
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 12:35 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Post by sound for sandwiches » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:15 pm

I built the copper kit last week, and it was a breeze. High quality board, components and instructions made for a great experience. I haven't spent very much time recording with the pre yet, but so far I am impressed.

User avatar
Wagz
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 186
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:44 am
Location: Kalispell, MT
Contact:

Post by Wagz » Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:44 am

Sweetness.
Sounds like a good starting point... I probably need to buy a 500 series chassis first...

Well, have a list as long as my arm of mics I need to send in and get serviced/repaired first. Once maintenance is done then I get to worry about messing with wiring. So excited.
Snoring Hound Studio
Kalisepll, MT

User avatar
scrotescape
audio school graduate
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:10 pm
Location: shakizzle illinizzle

LOLA

Post by scrotescape » Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:30 pm

you can't go wrong with the lola kit--- well you can but once its working properly you have a very nice preamp
learn the privilege of eating feathers

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests